Tips to help you survive depression

Artist Tori Stowe gives some lighthearted advice on dealing with depression
Artist Tori Stowe gives some lighthearted advice on dealing with depression
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Rhodes University Fine Art student Tori Stowe, 46, who has been battling depression since she was 14, recently shared some tongue-in-cheek and rather funny tips on how to minimise depression.

Although Stowe is not a qualified medical practitioner, she said the tips had helped:

1. Turn off all social media, stop watching or listening to the news.

2. Ok, so that didn't work, so stay on social media but snooze everyone who posts anything that makes you feel terrible. Abused puppies, South African politics, thin women who post selfies, people having too much fun

. . . turn them off.

3. Read and watch only things that make you smile. ‘Friends, Gilmore Girls’ and live comedy. Read nothing by Kate Atkinson and everything by Jojo Moyes, Nick Hornby, Bill Bryson or Richard Russo.

4. Do you have any other dripping taps of sadness in your life? Friends, family, that have nothing nice to say? Politely turn them off.

5. Eat beans, berries, bananas, nuts, seeds, spinach and cake.

6 Buy a gelato with a chocolate flake and sprinkles. Eat that too.

7. Drink milk. Drink less coffee and alcohol. Drink water as if it is the blood of your enemies.

8. Forgive your enemies, shame, they have no blood now.

9. Feed the bears, not the fears. Bears love nuts and honey.

10. Plant something. Name it. Water it. Care for it and watch it grow. It can be a pot plant or an orchard. No garden? Become a guerrilla gardener and add plants to public spaces.

11. Pick up litter. It is very cleansing.

12. Be grateful. Make a habit of listing five things a day you are grateful for. This is the new praying.

14. Avoid the number 13 like the plague

15. Nap. If you are tired, rest, don't give up. Choose a teddy, special pillow and fuzzy blanky.

Name them, sleep with them. Kids know this stuff. The perfect duration for a nap is 20 minutes. Time it.

16. Perform random acts of kindness. One a day. Kindness bounces.

17. Pick flowers for yourself, and for others. Not cauliflowers.

18. Write the names of your bug bears on tomatoes and then whack them into your garden. A golf club works well.

19. Grow tomatoes.

20. Take a break every day to do something unusual. Walk to work. Go into a shop/museum/gallery you have never been to.

Remember a passion and follow it. Call an old friend. Ride a horse, skateboard or train. Bounce.

Nearly everything in your life is a choice, not dictated.

Remember, sometimes we need to step off the path to find it.

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